Mrs CTel writes: This is my last posting so I thought I’d blow all (any?) credibility and go down in blaze of gold lame. Grab your hairbrush, flick your fringe, and sing along: “if you judge a book by its cover, then you judge the look by the lover. I hope one day you’ll recover. Me – I go from one extreme to another.” Pure poetry! Martin Fry may be hanging onto his former glory by his fingernails these days…but then so am I. Suppress your cynicism, dig out the glitter ball and enjoy the ride. It’s been fun.

mp3 : ABC – The Look of Love

JC adds in 2016….

the photo used above is randomly lifted from t’internet.  I’m guessing they are models posing for some sort of publicity shot.

Back in 2008, the CTels supplied a really beautiful photograph to go with the original posting.  I don’t think however, it would be appropriate to use it again all these years later .  It’s just too sad and those of you who followed ctel back then, and indeed visited my own place in the early days, will know what I’m on about.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the little trip down nostalgia lane these past few days.  I’m due back in Glasgow soon and will post some of own ill-informed rubbish again as of tomorrow.


It was ten years ago today that I nervously tiptoed my way into these dangerous waters. My motivation for doing was partly to keep my creative juices flowing after finding myself at a bit of a loose end at work thanks to some unanticipated staffing changes but mainly as it was something that was of an increasing appeal.

A few months earlier, my other half had given me a USB Turntable for my birthday as I was keen to put a lot of songs that I only had on vinyl into a digital format for transferring onto a new I-pod. It was while browsing the internet looking for tips on how to best do this in terms of software programmes etc that I realised there was a small band of folk with similar musical tastes and interests who were populating small corners of cyberspace with their views and opinions, seeking out responses and debate via the comments sections to postings on their blogs. I tentatively offered some of my own views and was pleasantly surprised that nobody mocked me or called me out as a charlatan. I began to make requests for specific songs and was delighted when folk living in Canada, France, the USA and nearer to home in Scotland let me hear something again for the first time in decades.

It is really hard to imagine just how little of the old indie/new wave/ post punk music from the 70s, 80s and 90s was out there back in 2006 given the massive growth in popularity there has been this past decade. You Tube was a little over a year old and folk were to still to really harness its ability in terms of uploading old footage for all to enjoy. Spotify was still just an idea forming in someone’s head. Record companies had little interest in dealing with back catalogues unless it was a dead superstar. CD was still king with the low manufacturing costs keeping the gravy train smoothly on the tracks. All the good stuff however, seemed to be long out of print and so it fell upon this enthusiastic group of like-minded amateurs to keep certain flames burning.

I tried a few layouts, considered a few alternatives for the name of the blog and thought about giving myself a name to hide behind – The Ghost Of Troubled Joe was only ditched at the last second in favour of using my initials. Having decided that what I was going to do was in the main taking songs on 7” and 12” plastic and featuring them in what was a technically illegal digital format, I felt The Vinyl Villain was a clever and astute name for the blog. Besides, it kind of gave me a superhero alter-ego as I styled myself as ‘JC aka The Vinyl Villain.’

My first posting was on James. It was all about a long-deleted b-side called Fire Away that I thought was worth letting folk hear again. Two days later I featured Lloyd Cole with a then rare and hard-to-find remix of Butterfly, a flop single from 1992. Then I went a bit more obscure the next day with some stuff on a long-forgotten band from Edinburgh called Hey! Elastica.

Positive comments and e-mails began to trickle in and so I kept going. I never considered I’d still be doing it ten years on.

Nor did I imagine that I would make so many great friends through blogging, a fair number of whom I’ve been lucky to meet but the vast majority have been the 21st Century equivalent of pen-pals. Being a blogger has enabled me to meet some of my all-time musical heroes (and in certain cases befriend them) and indirectly led me to DJ again after many years away. It also created a situation where I would do things I could only previously daydream about – I’ve promoted gigs, I’ve been a semi-roadie, I’ve sold stuff at merchandise stalls and I’ve been briefly profiled in newspapers and magazines. I’ve been invited to come to a recording studio and be among the first to hear a brand new recording from one of my favourite bands and I’ve had my real name appear in the list of thanks on new releases. I still can’t get over that Laurence Bell of Domino Records contacted me for some thoughts and advice in advance of his label issuing the Orange Juice box set and then as thank you listing me in the credits… that will always remain beyond belief.

I’ve clearly had a whale of a time never once regretting my decision to get involved and I’ve been lucky with so much that has happened. But above all else, I am incredibly proud of the fact that I’ve been able to attract many hundreds of guest contributions over the years and in doing so have greatly expanded my knowledge and musical tastes.

Of course it’s not all been plain sailing. A few initial bumps were smoothed out by some of my oldest blogging comrades which is why it seems so apt that this week, while I’m on holiday in Toronto, that the blog is featuring a series of repeat guest offerings from ctel without whom I’d most likely quit at some point. I owe him so much and again want to publicly say a big thank you.

The Vinyl Villain was hosted by between 29 September 2006 and 24 July 2013 when it was taken down by the host for what was alleged to be continued violations of copyright policy. They had a point but the method used in which so many millions of words were wiped without giving me a chance to do some sort of back-up was upsetting and caused a lot of grief and anger. My indignation was shared by many others and the many messages of support made me determined to bounce back quickly. I ended up doing so did so the same day, using wordpress, and re-naming it The (New) Vinyl Villain. It took a few weeks but the new place soon got up to the standards of the old place and indeed nowadays I feel it is a big improvement, thanks in the main to the quality of the guest postings.

Between the two blogs, there have been something in the region of 3,700 separate posts and what will be something in the region of 15,000 comments. That’s an awful lot of words……thankfully some of them have made some sense.

There’s not too many of the original bloggers from ten years ago still going today which is perfectly understandable given that it is very difficult to find different things to say all the time; besides, all of our personal circumstances have changed while those who were driven by the desire only to share music can point to how much easier it is to do so in 2016 compared to 2006….and much of it is legal.

In their places have come some very talented and skilled new bloggers, a small number of whom I very heartily recommend with a listing to the right hand side of my own place. Sometimes I find it difficult to read what these folk are writing, partly because so many of them do it in a way that makes me think they should be getting paid for it, but also because I sometimes read their word and realise that my own emerging thoughts for a future post just been blown out the water!!

I know that I won’t be doing this forever. To be honest, five years ago I didn’t imagine seeing out another half-decade, so I’ll make no predictions about what the future holds. But as long as I wake up of a morning and see that someone out there is getting a degree of enjoyment out of what appears here, and as long as I’m able to crochet a few clichés together in a way that makes some sort of sense, well you can bet that some sort of tune and some sort of opinion or information will appear on a daily basis.

For now, here’s some tunes:-

mp3 : Kingmaker – 10 Years Asleep
mp3 : Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians Of The British Empire – Birthday Boy
mp3 : James – Fire Away (12″ vinyl)
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Butterfly (the Planet Ann Charlotte Mix)
mp3 : The Fall – Lost In Music





Bit of a strange one this, Mrs CTel chooses ambient godfathers The Orb. But before anyone worries about 40 minutes of whale noise, this is an untypically upbeat Orb track.

The Orb is Alex Paterson with various collaborators over the years. Best known for playing chess on Top Of The Pops (for 40 minute single “Blue Room”), this ex-Killing Joke roadie has done it all. The Orb virtually invented the electronic genre known as ambient house, resurrecting slower, more soulful rhythms and providing a soundtrack for early-morning ravers once the clubs had closed their doors. Alex’s formula was quite simple: he slowed down the rhythms of classic Chicago house and added synth work and effects inspired by ’70s ambient pioneers Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream.

Mrs CTel has chosen 1997 single Toxygene. This was originally commissioned as a remix of Jean Michel Jarre‘s “Oxygene 8”. However, The Orb “obliterated it” and reassembled only a few fragments for their remix, much to the chagrin of Jarre, who reportedly “threw a fit and refused to release it”. The Orb released the track themselves under the name “Toxygene”, which further irritated Jarre, to whom Paterson retorted “The French are always five years behind us, anyway.”. Meanwhile, Mrs CTel says:

This one will keep your pedals going round even cycling straight into a gale with your teeth clenched and your little legs on fire (aaah the memories). No words even to distract you, just a hypnotic relentless beat that hooks you and a skilfully layered melody to keep you entranced all the way through. Simple and very effective. Give it a try even if you’ve never owned a bike – it can be enjoyed just as much in more civilised conditions.

mp3: The Orb – Toxygene (Radio Edit)

mp3 : The Orb – Toxygene (Kris Needs Up For A Fortnight Mix)*

*for those who want it dancier




Today Mrs CTel discusses sport and dance for indie kids, through the medium of Colourbox.

Colourbox was one of the legendary 4AD label’s earliest and most under-recognized acts. It was among the first artists outside hip-hop to rely heavily on sampling techniques; ultimately, their arty blue-eyed soul reached its commercial and creative peak through their work with AR Kane on M/A/R/R/S‘ seminal “Pump Up the Volume” project, a reflection of the group’s long-standing interest in the burgeoning underground dance music scene of the 1980s. Colourbox was primarily the work of London-based brothers Martyn and Steven Young. In 1986 they released “The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme” (relating to the World Cup in Mexico in 86).

Mrs CTel says:

This is to do with Football. Music and sport in an official or unofficial capacity shouldn’t mix. It’s not cool – even New Order only just scraped a place on the line dividing kitsch from credibility. But this track’s massive saving grace it that except for the title (whisper it if you must) it doesn’t have ANY reference to the F word. Blissfully free of lyrics, it delivers a wonderful performance quite out sync with England’s woeful international efforts, except perhaps in its own lack of chart success. But hey, that IS cool in music terms. It starts off hard and keeps up a great momentum all the way through. Trust me on this one.

mp3 : Colourbox – The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme 7″ Mix




Second in the series where Mrs CTel explains which dance tracks indie kids should go for. Today, handbags at the ready for Faithless.

The three principal members of Faithless are: Maxwell Frazer AKA Maxi Jazz (Conscious Rap) Ayalah Bentovim AKA Sister Bliss (Music) Roland Armstrong AKA Rollo (Producer, Music). Many of the songs are sung by Pauline Taylor.

Jamie Catto was originally part of the group but left after the release of the second album “Sunday 8PM”.

Zoë Johnston joined for the album “Outrospective”.

Their first album, 1996’s “Reverence”, was an underground sensation but did not quite break the mainstream. 1998’s “Sunday 8PM” changed all of that, the single “God Is a DJ” became a big club anthem while the album enjoyed bigger sales than anything they had previously released. Critics may have been harsh, but the group kept moving forward with both members also pursuing solo careers on the side.

Mrs CTel’s choice is “God is a DJ”:

Faithless are an annoying lot when it comes to amazing tracks that build up frustratingly slowly and then burst into a glorious combination of rhythm and melody. That’s why they’re so fabulous live – they get straight to the good bit and then play expertly around with the sound. Try to access inner peace as the introduction signals great things to come but doesn’t deliver until full hair-tearing minutes later. It is well worth it but do get a version where the full dance part doesn’t disappear moments after its just got into its stride. Otherwise inner dance-floor karma will turn into outer world irritability.

mp3 : Faithless – God Is A DJ (Serious Danger Mix)

mp3 : Faithless – God Is A DJ (Astral Projection Mix)





I was talking to Mrs CTel the other night after she’d been grumbling about some clattery techno track I was playing. She’s an indie kid at heart. You must like some of it, I said. More in hope than anything. There are a couple, she admitted. You ought to write about them, I suggested. And then the august JC’s computer got sick. So here we are. Please welcome Mrs CTel to the TVV team.

Her first selection is Renegade Soundwave. Formed in London during the late ’80s, Renegade Soundwave applied the punk and industrial ethic to both dub and dancefloor electronica. The trio of Gary Asquith, Danny Briottet and Carl Bonnie debuted with the 1987 single “Kray Twins”. The group’s only hit, “Probably a Robbery”, made the British Top 40 early in 1990, but Bonnie left later that year for a solo career. Asquith and Briottet spent several years in isolation before emerging in 1994 with the “Renegade Soundwave” single and the album How You Doin?. The compilation RSW 87-95 emerged in 1996. But then it all went quiet again. As of 2007, Danny Briottet is producing and recording/remixing under the name of Red Star and Gary Asquith is in a band called Lavender Pill Mob with Kevin Mooney, formerly of Adam & The Ants along with Electro ambient artist Lee Simeone.

Mrs Ctel selects the Renegade Soundwave single as her dance music for indie kids track:

This is an excellent track. It has a driving beat, melodic tune and attitude. It sounds relatively slow these days but is still irresistibly confident. Not sure where they’re from – they say “the Cockney b*stards cannot rhyme” [on “Howyoudoin?”], so I’m guessing not London.. Takes you straight to getting-ready-to-go-clubbing or hosting your own memorable-if-hazy-about-the-details night of partying. It isn’t trying to save the world or moan on about lost love, only “the guitar we just couldn’t tune”. Enjoy problems Renegade Soundwave style – hear it on headphones and get the stereo effect of depth and swirling sound and keep listening till your spine tingles.

mp3 : Renegade Soundwave – Renegade Soundwave 7″ Mix

mp3 : Renegade Soundwave – Howyoudoin?

mp3 : Renegade Soundwave – Renegade Soundwave Whistling Guitar Mix

JC adds in 2016……………

This was ctel and Mrs ctel stepping in when, over a weekend, my PC crashed and left me powerless to post.  The old blog was just over a year old and was picking up a bit of momentum in terms of numbers of visitors and folk beginning to leave behind comments and initiate some debate.

Mrs ctel will be here all week…………..




I was really sure that Love You More was a much bigger hit than #34. I think it’s the fact that it hung around in the Top 50 for a while that leads to that conclusion but its chart run was 41,34,35,35,60,53 and so yup, mid-30s it was.

What it did do was get the band their first all-important appearance on Top of The Pops in July 1978 thus instantly making their name and sound recognisable to millions more people overnight. Which sort of set them up for the rest of the year. In the meantime, enjoy the magic of the 1min 45 second pop single and its rather spendid b-side:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Love You More
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Noise Annoys

Till next time.